Lichtung is a pocket park along the Danube River consisting of a sequence of varied clearings: follies. Emerging lifestyles connected to nature and an increased awareness of the benefits of sturdier ecologies require a new attitude towards the river’s environments. The first and integral phase of a large scale landscape and re-naturalization project in the city of Ingolstadt—Stadt Park Donau— Lichtung directly engages the community. Small and tactical, the 7 follies reveal the littoral atmospheric elements according to a number of parameters including: time of day, shade intensity, humidity gradients and walking pace.
The follies invite the subject to slow down and contemplate in a heightened sensory state landscapes contained in the alluvial forest. It stirs new readings of the river, enticing the local communities back to its banks. Many clearings provide the subject with an opportunity to sit or lie-down comfortably while experiencing the changes of the alluvial forest atmosphere. While inspired by natural forms, the “tree stump” benches are intentionally distinguished from their surroundings through an exaggerated size and golden hue, uncanny artifacts nestled within the littoral edges.
Tuning the landscape also means inviting subjects into specific atmospheres in new ways; hammocks hang amongst the ivy, vegetation is removed, revealing earth or views of the river, clouds were installed to reveal streams of sunlight and provide opportunities for increased cooling. A shed is converted into a scent-salon, dispensing “l’eau de Danube”
Fields of yellow painted tree trunks serve as the southern gateway of the larger landscape project and mark the height of a nearby dike as a hidden infrastructure—constructed to protect the eastern neighborhoods of Ingolstadt from seasonal flooding.
Inspired by Martin Heidegger’s use of the term: Lichtung describes the space in which something appears to oneself, while revealing something in oneself as of being in-the-world.